To HO - allowing use of cars

I’ve searched and can’t find my answer. To those home owners who have allowed the use of your car to your sitter (I live in the US and my sitter is from the US), what are your suggestions on what I should focus on. If you have an example of a contract I’d be interested. I’ve already checked with my insurance for coverage. I’m thinking more along the lines of, if something happens should my sitter be responsible for the deductible? What if the accident is their fault? Should they pay for the damages? And then how do I hold the sitter to our agreement? Thanks in advance. New to the house sitting thing.

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I’d be interested to know if you’d allow the use of your car to a sitter from the UK….Presumably your car is automatic?

Hi @jaydee , this topic has been discussed a lot on the forum. For example:

In the US, car insurance follows the car, so if you have liability and collision coverage, it will cover a driver who has your permission to drive your car. Here is some useful information from Allstate Insurance:,permission%20to%20drive%20your%20vehicle.

At present, I am at a sit and am driving the owner’s car. If I were to damage the car (knock wood, spit three times), I would pay the owner’s deductible. This is not documented , it’s just understood. I had the owner fill out my own Authorization to Drive a Motor Vehicle, a form I modified from a template I found online. It includes my name, address, phone number, driver’s license number, my own auto insurance policy number, the owner’s name and signature and the dates I am permitted to drive the car. I keep the completed form in the glove box. This should provide coverage in the event of any type of mishap.


Hello! Thank you for your response. I read a lot of comments but it seemed more from the sitter’s point of view, not the car owner. Would you be willing to share the template you use?


Hi @jaydee,

I’ve never shared my car as an HO, but I have let people borrow and drive my car multiple times. At first, I worried about who-would-pay-what in the case of an accident, but now I default to: “We’re both adults, and if something happens, we’ll discuss it as adults.” Everyone has a different story, and if there were an accident, it would be its own unique situation. Perhaps I’ve been lucky that the only accident I’ve had was when I was driving alone (backed into a parked car at night in the rain in an unfamiliar neighborhood, 15 years ago).

I do like to follow the speed limit, so I might make that a requirement of a sitter using my car. And no smoking in the car.

Similar to my default stance, you could ask the sitter what they want to do. For example, maybe they want to have everything written out ahead of time. Or maybe they feel the two of you can discuss it respectfully afterward, if there is an accident.


The topic of a sitter using our car has not come up with our sitters, but I have asked our insurance agent about it and they discouraged doing that as the insurance company we use, Erie, is very conservative and could use a third party driver accident as the basis of a rate hike or even dropping the policy. I’ve considered and looked into seeing if using a nominal rental through Turo would work, i.e. setting a low or modest rate rental just for the sitter but having the Turo insurance in place to mitigate personal exposure… I think that might be a viable path, albeit more costly than free use of a car. Good luck!

@jaydee , This link has a template similar to the one I use:

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Hi Geoff. You have taken a weight off my shoulders, I was overthinking! This makes sense and I appreciate your perspective! Thanks for taking the time to write!

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@jaydee yes I think Geoff has given wonderful advice also :clap:

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Its great that youre being thorough and responsible in preparing for your house sitter using your car. While I cant provide a specific contract, I can offer some general

To HOs on this thread (I am both a sitter and a HO but currently only sit).

I am pausing my availability for sits due to the exceptionally high travel costs that seem not to be budging. If it works for you, use of a car will make your listing far more attractive.

My last sit, which was canceled due to homeowner illness, did come with use of her truck. That was one of the reasons I chose to apply for that sit. In the area I was traveling, a car rental costs more than 125 dollars per day. It’s also very hard to find car rentals which allow the dogs in the cars. I like taking dogs to parks and trails when I’m sitting if possible.

I was also left holding a 1200 flight but have been able to use that.

As a HO, I wish there was a way to check driving records. I have no points on my license. I also have plenty of experience driving on the left with a left-handed shifter. But I don’t know how to prove that as means to make a HO more comfortable lending me their car.

FWIW, rental car costs fluctuate based on supply and demand. Like I just booked one for less than $25 a day in a major U.S. city without bargain shopping, for my upcoming sit.

When I worked for rental car companies during college, we’d do daily checks on competitors’ pricing, consider supply and demand, including whether there were events, like big conventions. Then we’d set the rate daily, depending on location. Nowadays, rental companies can much more easily do such checks, because they can automate them.

Typically, it’s best to book ahead with places that allow last-minute cancellations, because you can sometimes get better rates later. And I always reserve the smallest car available (it’s me and one passenger at most), because you can often get upgrades for free if they don’t have that size when you check in. Plus, you can compare prices and sometimes get cheaper rates away from the airport. Depending on how much it would cost you to say take an Uber or public transit to the city center, for instance, you can sometimes save if your rental is for long enough.

By contrast, we sometimes had so many people return cars to the airport that parking would be an issue, so we’d drop the rates at the airport. Or if we knew that there’d be a glut of cars during the weekend, we’d lower weekly rates so it would be cheaper for renters to keep the cars longer vs. if they returned them say after four or five days. In major metros, parking is limited for rental companies.

Again, pricing is not static.

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In Alaska, in the summer/early fall months, it goes from bad to worse over time. There were no cars at all when the sit was confirmed, only large trucks for 200 plus a day. I ended up with a car from Turo which was 124/day. As the sit approached there was nothing at all even the ancient fiat manual transmission on Turo was gone. It went for over 100/day.

No idea why they don’t have more cars up there. I guess because they wouldn’t rent as much during winter. And transporting cars back and forth between seasons would be $$$.

I had use of the owners car for the actual sit dates but it was canceled by the HO.

So I’d agree, not static, but it only goes up in this market.